Repair Cafe will set up at Tansley Woods March 12th - free help with things that no longer work

By Staff

February 11th, 2022



Burlington has hundreds, maybe even thousands of people who took early retirement or put in their 25 years and stopped punching a clock – and are looking for something to do that appeals to their better selves.

Some serve on committees, others join service clubs and others come up with an idea of their own and look for ways to make it happen.

Typical set up at a Repair Cafe.

Lawson Hunter has served on a number of committees – including Community Development Halton, served on a committee that wanted to hear what the public had to say about the Tansley Woods Centre that was to be developed.  He worked with the Burlington Food Bank for a period of time.

He was former Program Manager at Cable 14 Hamilton; former Executive Director at Jamesville Business Improvement Area (Hamilton); former Communications Assistant to Lily Oddie Munro, Minister of Culture & Communications; former Administrator at Burlington Art Centre (now Art Gallery of Burlington); retired Letter Carrier at Canada Post.

At 21 years of age, Hunter was the youngest Board member of the Sarnia Public Library & Art Gallery.

He has clearly earned his stripes.

With time on his hands Hunter heard about the Repair Café; an organization with 1500 volunteer units around the world and about eight in Canada.  Toronto has a Repair Café that has been operational for five years.

Hunter set up an outdoor Repair Café with the Aldershot BIA to learn what the interest might be.  “One lady came in with a knock off Tiffany Lamp and wanted the cord replaced.  While we were working on the lamp another lamp walked by, saw the lamp and said – I have one of those and the cord is worn out – can you fix it?.  We could and we did.

“Before the day was over a third person said she too had a lamp that needed a new cord.  I knew we were filling a need.”

Hunter adds just how immediate a repair need can be.  “A woman came in asking if we could repair the cord on her electric mowing machine – and get it done before her husband came home.

Lawson Hunter delegating to city council

With a couple of trial runs in different parts of the city Hunter knew he had identified a need and rounded up some of his friends and applied to the city for a Community grant.

His application was accepted – the next repair Café will be in Tansley Woods Centre on March 12th – runs from 10 am to 1:00 pm

Show up and they will do what they can for you.

There is no charge for the labour – you are expected to pay for any parts that are needed.

Then he came up with an idea – why not help people fix things?  He wasn’t thinking of helping people fix their relationships – that’s not quite where Lawson excels.

He wanted to help people fix a toaster or a blending machine or a CD player.

He applied for and got a grant from the city (cheque hasn’t arrived yet) to set up the Repair Café. “We’re just a bunch of guys that want to fix things and keep them out of the landfill site” said Hunter.  To use the moniker of a ‘Repair Cafe’, means to agree to the policy of not charging for repairs (parts yes, labour no) which he adds – “ it’s a terrible business model but a great community service.”

“Getting in touch with the Repair Cafe is easy: All residents are invited to contact us to let us know what items they need to get fixed to keep them out of the global garbage heap.  Email us at  or visit our Facebook page at



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1 comment to Repair Cafe will set up at Tansley Woods March 12th – free help with things that no longer work

  • Mozelle Cole

    Thanks to the Gazette for this great news. These guys helped me when they were at the Art Gallery before Covid disrupted our lives. It is a much needed service for our City and environment.